XXVI Открытая конференция студентов-филологов в СПбГУ

Ezra Pound's poetics of translation (on the material of his Old English poetry translation)

Елизавета Владимировна Чадова
магистрант 2 курса
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

Ключевые слова, аннотация

The research is considering Ezra Pound's translations of Old English poetry and his interpretation of it. The author gives a brief review of Pound’s study of the Old English language as a college student and his interest in Old English culture as a whole. Pound’s thoughts on the very subject of translation as a craft are being considered, since his translation is mainly not literal but interpretating.The study is based  on the analysis of Pound’s translation of the heroic elegy «Sæfaran» («The Seafarer», 1911) mainly and some of his other minor translations. 


Key words and phrases: translation studies; modernism; Old English poetry; interpretation; translatio

The study adresses the problem of Ezra Pound's translations of Old English poetry and his interpretation of it. The main objective of the study is to give a brief review of Pound’s study of the Old English language during his college years and to analyse his interest in Old English culture overall. The author considers Pound’s thoughts on the very subject of translation, since his way of translating texts is mainly interpretating. Pound's poetics of translation is often characterized as «reducing» in relation to the original texts, which is happening due to several reasons. The findings are as follows:
1. First of all, such reducing method of translation is closely related to Pound's view on the translation and the literature as a whole: his strategy is translating only those fragments that are close to his own poetics. He uses the fictional character of the translated poem as a litearary mask.
2. Secondly, the reducing method is quite common of early twentieth-century Anglo-Saxon scholarship as a method of «purification» of the authentic Old English texts from later interference (for example, some Christian motifs in Old English poetry were considered to be later insertions). For example, Pound removes the Christian element in his translation of the original text.
3. Some studies indicate that Pound's reducing technique could be inspired by a medieval strategy of translation called «translatio». The study also focuses on the ways in which Pound saw translation, through its very technical ‘donation’, impacts the receiving language and culture. Finally, the study considers the ways in which Pound’s translation project, position and ideology help to understand the texture, the structure, and the ideas of his interpretation of the original texts. Pound's precise attention to the sound image and phonoaesthetics of the translated texts is being analysed. The study is made on the material of Pound’s translation of the heroic elegy «Sæfaran» («The Seafarer», 1911) mainly.